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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 October 14 - 20  > Kyushu Electric Power forcibly loads a reactor with MOX fuel
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2009 October 14 - 20 [ENVIRONMENT]

Kyushu Electric Power forcibly loads a reactor with MOX fuel

October 16, 2009
In complete disregard of opposition from local residents, Kyushu Electric Power Co., Inc. on October 15 forcibly loaded one of its reactors with MOX fuel for the controversial plutonium-thermal power generation at the Genkai Nuclear Power Plant in Saga Prefecture.

It will be the nation’s first plutonium-thermal power generation if introduced.

Groups of local residents and scientists, together with a Japanese Communist Party representative of the prefectual assembly, lodged a protest on the same day with the power company and the Saga Prefectural Government, claiming that the planned plutonium-thermal generation is not proven safe.

The planned plutonium-thermal project uses MOX fuel (mixed-oxide of plutonium and uranium extracted from spent fuel) burnt in light-water reactors as fuel for power generation. However, existing nuclear power facilities in Japan are not designed for the use of plutonium-thermal as fuel. The project has faced strong protests because it will only increase the danger of the already-dangerous nuclear power plants.

The Saga Prefectural Assembly in its unanimous resolution is also calling for a postponement and a review of the project. - Akahata, October 16, 2009
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